Poetry – Landlocked

March 24, 2011

Here is an old poem of mine from an anthology called “Archipelago” I used to be a part of.



The wharfy pulls the last container of ice and fish

along the deck and thuds it on the wharf. It is the last ever

for himself and the fleet. Pleasure fishing

for weekend tourists has left them all landlocked.


The young deckhand, Andy, takes off his apron

and tosses it to the ground. Its an apprenticeship he fears.

“Young men’ll survive,” the old salts say

as they stare out to sea beyond their horizons.


They know their ships have sailed, but it hurts too much

to blame themselves. They stand before the quiescence,

willing yet impotent. A yacht drifts slowly past.

Nothing stirs them, but their thoughts rage,


clouding any course of action. Pelicans fly over head.

They splash down, come about, and eye them all off.

Soon, they think, even these pests won’t need them.

A bitter smile crosses their faces. They sit down


legs hanging over the wharf, and push their boats out.

The ropes stretch, creak, and then slacken once again.

They stay until the night swallows even this dark sea.

It is the only way they can face their last trip home.




One comment

  1. It seems that your work is strongly connected to your own experiences living on the Central Coast. Do you think it is important for a writer to draw from what they know to shape a story or poem? Is this a conscious process, or something which is very instinctive?

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